?"frog-pond" and " put the bottom rail on top

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japanjapan

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This is my first post in this forum; I am very glad to find this forum in the internet sea because I think communicating with native English speakers is almost the most important way to learn the language. I will cherish this forum and the opportunity.

I have two English questions and I can not find the answers even after looking them up in five dictionaries. They are as follows.

1. “We tell the white men of Mississippi that the men of the North will convert the state of Mississippi into a frog-pond before they will allow any such laws to disgrace one foot of soil over which the flag of freedom waves.”
Obviously, here "frog-pond" is a metaphor, but I can not figure out it's meaning. What is it?

2. “A few (blacks) took quite literally the coming of what they called Jubilee, thinking that it would put the bottom rail on top.”
What's the meaning of the idiom "put the bottom rail on top"?

I am looking forward to the instructions. Thanks.
 

Casiopea

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Re: ?"frog-pond" and " put the bottom rail on

japanjapan said:
2. “A few (blacks) took quite literally the coming of what they called Jubilee, thinking that it would put the bottom rail on top.”

What's the meaning of the idiom "put the bottom rail on top"?

Welcome. :D

I'll answer 2. and leave 1. for another person.

In that context, put the bottom rail up is in reference to 'the dispossession of whites of their power and position and their replacement by blacks and other non-whites.'

:oops: Sorry. I've misplaced the source.
 

MikeNewYork

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Re: ?"frog-pond" and " put the bottom rail on

japanjapan said:
This is my first post in this forum; I am very glad to find this forum in the internet sea because I think communicating with native English speakers is almost the most important way to learn the language. I will cherish this forum and the opportunity.

I have two English questions and I can not find the answers even after looking them up in five dictionaries. They are as follows.

1. “We tell the white men of Mississippi that the men of the North will convert the state of Mississippi into a frog-pond before they will allow any such laws to disgrace one foot of soil over which the flag of freedom waves.”
Obviously, here "frog-pond" is a metaphor, but I can not figure out it's meaning. What is it?

2. “A few (blacks) took quite literally the coming of what they called Jubilee, thinking that it would put the bottom rail on top.”
What's the meaning of the idiom "put the bottom rail on top"?

I am looking forward to the instructions. Thanks.

Welcome to UsingEnglish. We hope you will visit us often.

Cas answered your second question. I don't think that frog pond has any hidden meaning here. There has been tension between the North and the Souith in the US since the Civil War in the mid-1800s. I'm not sure what the issue is here, but it seems to be saying that people in the North will allow Mississippi to deteriorate into a usless land mass -- a swamp, a wetland, a frog pond. :wink:
 
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